Will Republicans break through in Minnesota this year?

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Minnesota came close to having unified Republican government in 2010, when Republicans swept into control of the State House and Senate while losing the governor’s race in a recount. With Republicans controlling the Senate and not up for election in 2018, Republicans can focus on strengthening their majority in the Minnesota House and electing a Republican governor. The DFL is in real trouble in the legislature. According to the article, “the Democratic National Committee announced in May it would give a $100,000 grant to the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor party for outreach to rural voters.”

That’s pretty laughable. The DFL has been well-funded for years, with DFL trust fund babies (Think Alita Messenger) writing big checks to the DFL. The DFL shouldn’t need outside help to connect with rural voters. I can save the DNC that $100,000. The problem isn’t that the DFL hasn’t reached out to rural Minnesota. It’s that those DFLers are attached to a cancer originating from Minneapolis and St. Paul. The DFL won’t like hearing this but it’s the truth: The Republican Party of Minnesota is the new home to farmers, miners and construction workers.

Skipping the convention is a sign Pawlenty has trouble with the modern GOP, said David Turner, spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association, who compared the Minnesota contest to the 2017 Virginia governor’s race—which was expected to be close but turned into a big victory for centrist Democrat Ralph Northam over moderate Republican Ed Gillespie.

“What we’ve seen in 2017 and 2018 is a high level of enthusiasm among Democratic voters,” Turner told Fox News. “Pawlenty is eerily similar to Ed Gillespie in Virginia. Both had harshly criticized President Trump in the past and lobbied for Wall Street. Now, Pawlenty is coming back to Minnesota and—like Gillespie—doesn’t know how to deal with the current Trump Republican party.”

The chance to elect, for the first time in Minnesota history, a unified Republican Party government is all the motivation Republicans will need this fall. The opportunity to fix the problems Dayton created but didn’t fix is great motivation. The opportunity to trash Minnesota’s socialist economic policies will be a great motivator, too.

I’d be in denial if I said that there aren’t some people who question Pawlenty. They definitely exist. That being said, he’s a reliable chief executive who is light years more trustworthy than Gov. Bobblehead, aka Gov. Dayton. A Pawlenty-Daudt-Gazelka trio of leaders would be able to get lots of good things done.

As for the DFL gubernatorial candidates, each have serious flaws. The first test for a candidate is picking a running mate. Rebecca Otto failed that test by making an identity politics choice. The first thing a running mate has to be is capable of running the state if, God forbid, something happens to the governor.

Here’s the opening sentence in the article:

DFL gubernatorial candidate Rebecca Otto has chosen Zarina Baber as her running mate, creating the possibility that if elected, Baber would be the first Muslim woman to hold statewide office in the United States.

Picking a nobody with no government experience is foolish. It’s impossible to take this pick as serious. This is purely an identity politics pick.

As for Tim Walz, his biggest flaws are that he’s got the worst of both worlds. He really isn’t a Twin Cities kind of guy but he doesn’t fit well with rural Minnesota, either. He once represented rural Minnesota but he lost that by playing politics with the NRA. When he pandered after Parkland, people saw that his values are ‘flexible’. That won’t fly during the age of Trump.

Erin Murphy’s biggest flaw is her being a true believer. She’s a single-payer advocate:

I am a supporter of single-payer and a co-author on John Marty’s Minnesota Health Plan. A full single-payer solution isn’t possible without federal participation, but we can build the infrastructure here in Minnesota and lead the nation.

Single-payer health care will never be the law of the land. This is totally foolish. If she wants to play to her base to win the endorsement, that’s fine. She’d better know, though, that it’ll cost her bigtime in the general election.

As for the Republicans’ majority in the House, the DFL can forget about flipping it. They voted for creating the hated buffer strips that are costing farmers tons of money. The DFL sat silent about the rebuild of the Line 3 Pipeline, which would’ve helped stabilize, if not decrease farmers’ property taxes. The DFL voted against the Republicans’ tax cuts in 2017, which has limited farmers’ property taxes.

It isn’t a matter of outreach. It’s a matter of voting for terrible policies. No amount of outreach will make amends for terrible policies.